These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In New Jersey For 2018


We used science and data to determine which places in New Jersey are basically dead broke.

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New Jersey brings to mind images of Trenton, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, New Jersey has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in New Jersey that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 190 places in New Jersey with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Garden State for 2018:

  1. Camden (Photos)
  2. Atlantic City (Photos)
  3. Newark (Photos)
  4. Wildwood (Photos)
  5. Trenton (Photos)
  6. Asbury Park (Photos)
  7. Paulsboro (Photos)
  8. Bridgeton (Photos)
  9. East Orange (Photos)
  10. Pleasantville (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Camden is the poorest place in New Jersey for 2018.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in New Jersey or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Jersey For 2018

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the ‘poorest places’. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2012-2016 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The ‘median household income adjusted for the cost of living’ attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 190 places with more than 5,000 people in New Jersey, we ranked each place from 1 to 190 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a ‘Poor Score’ with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Camden, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In New Jersey For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 190 places.

1. Camden

Camden, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 76,005
Median Income: $26,214
Unemployment Rate: 16.5%
Poverty Rate: 38.4%
More on Camden: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Camden, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New Jersey thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 76,005 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in New Jersey and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

User comment that mentions Camden: ive lived in camden when it was mostly white im 48 now scum ball people destroyed this once beautiful town so whether you live there now only you can make a difference so dont bitch what others are saying make a difference get off your butts and clean it up and do something with your life!!!

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

2. Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 39,306
Median Income: $26,566
Unemployment Rate: 15.7%
Poverty Rate: 36.6%
More on Atlantic City: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in New Jersey is Atlantic City.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 6th highest in the Garden State.

3. Newark

Newark, New Jersey

Population: 280,139
Median Income: $33,025
Unemployment Rate: 17.2%
Poverty Rate: 29.1%
More on Newark: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Newark’s median income ranks as the 4th lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 29.1% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Garden State.

User comment that mentions Newark: born and raised in nj,watched the whole state go down hill for 67 years. finally got out when i retired. there are a few good places still in nj. i was there for the newark riots, what a fn mess,nothing like burning down your own stores that you shop in then bitch about how bad newark is.i watched places were i grew up in elizabeth go from great to shit in a matter of a few years.i could walk down to the port of elizabeth to see my friends.now i won’t drive through there unless i am carrying. it sucks when people bitch that there area is nothing but thugs and drug addicts and it’s everyones fault but there own. you are the ones that sit on the front porch all day drink beer and through the empties in the street,eat your micky d’s and through the wrappers in the street,then expect the city to clean it up.it’s up to you to keep your area clean not someone else’s.so if you want a nice place to live get off your lazy ass it all starts with you

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

4. Wildwood

Wildwood, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,192
Median Income: $28,271
Unemployment Rate: 17.3%
Poverty Rate: 27.3%
More on Wildwood: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Wildwood ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Jersey.

The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 11th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

5. Trenton

Trenton, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 84,559
Median Income: $34,412
Unemployment Rate: 16.0%
Poverty Rate: 27.6%
More on Trenton: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in New Jersey is Trenton.

The city ranks as having the 7th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 10th highest in New Jersey.

Still not the best news for Trenton.

User comment that mentions Trenton: sorry Shameekah but your own words validate by default whatever point you were trying to dispute – when arguing that the schools are good – at least do some proofreading of your statement . and as a lifelong resident of cites in NJ – have to say – when i got off the lightrail that goes from Trenton to the NJ State Aquarium – but due to flooding near the river was let off in downtown Camden two stops before the Aquarium – even at that hour – around noon – the place was scary as all get out – everyone looked heavily drugged out – they were eying me up just waiting or me to turn down a side street – no thanx – you can keep that place – for my money the hype appeared true

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

6. Asbury Park

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Population: 15,850
Median Income: $36,512
Unemployment Rate: 12.7%
Poverty Rate: 30.6%
More on Asbury Park: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Asbury Park ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Garden State.

It ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

7. Paulsboro

Paulsboro, New Jersey

Population: 6,009
Median Income: $42,154
Unemployment Rate: 15.4%
Poverty Rate: 29.2%
More on Paulsboro: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Paulsboro places as the seventh poorest city in New Jersey.

The city of over 6,009 ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Bridgeton

Bridgeton, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 25,209
Median Income: $35,417
Unemployment Rate: 11.8%
Poverty Rate: 30.4%
More on Bridgeton: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Bridgeton ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Jersey.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 18th highest in the state.

9. East Orange

East Orange, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 64,621
Median Income: $38,403
Unemployment Rate: 16.9%
Poverty Rate: 20.2%
More on East Orange: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

East Orange couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in New Jersey; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 10th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, East Orange ranks as having the 19th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Jersey.

10. Pleasantville

Pleasantville, New Jersey

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,532
Median Income: $42,971
Unemployment Rate: 13.6%
Poverty Rate: 23.9%
More on Pleasantville: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New Jersey is Pleasantville.

The city of 20,532 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Garden State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In New Jersey For 2018

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in New Jersey, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in New Jersey.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in New Jersey, according to data:

Richest: Woodcliff Lake
2nd Richest: Bernardsville
3rd Richest: North Caldwell

For more New Jersey reading , check out:

  • 10 Safest Places In New Jersey
  • 10 Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey
  • 10 Most Ghetto Cities In New Jersey
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In New Jersey

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Camden 38.4%
    2 Atlantic City 36.6%
    3 Newark 29.1%
    4 Wildwood 27.3%
    5 Trenton 27.6%
    6 Asbury Park 30.6%
    7 Paulsboro 29.2%
    8 Bridgeton 30.4%
    9 East Orange 20.2%
    10 Pleasantville 23.9%
    11 New Brunswick 36.0%
    12 Keansburg 20.3%
    13 Phillipsburg 19.6%
    14 Lindenwold 18.4%
    15 Elizabeth 19.0%
    16 Millville 18.0%
    17 Roselle 14.1%
    18 Union City 24.3%
    19 Bellmawr 18.0%
    20 West New York 21.9%
    21 Ventnor City 15.1%
    22 Woodbury 20.3%
    23 Paterson 29.1%
    24 Passaic 31.9%
    25 Plainfield 22.1%
    26 Long Branch 17.1%
    27 Guttenberg 16.1%
    28 Vineland 17.6%
    29 Harrison 14.4%
    30 Pine Hill 14.8%
    31 Fairview 16.4%
    32 Garfield 18.6%
    33 Glassboro 19.9%
    34 Newton 17.2%
    35 Lodi 15.3%
    36 Jersey City 19.4%
    37 Burlington 9.4%
    38 Gloucester City 12.4%
    39 Prospect Park 20.2%
    40 Haledon 13.5%
    41 Somers Point 12.8%
    42 South River 11.3%
    43 Carteret 13.5%
    44 Little Ferry 11.9%
    45 Palmyra 12.0%
    46 Kearny 11.6%
    47 Hammonton 12.6%
    48 Union Beach 10.7%
    49 Runnemede 10.6%
    50 Freehold 14.0%
    51 Linden 10.7%
    52 Belmar 11.4%
    53 Bayonne 15.5%
    54 Hackett 13.0%
    55 Somerdale 9.5%
    56 Eato 11.5%
    57 Absecon 6.1%
    58 Stratford 9.8%
    59 Roselle Park 7.3%
    60 Keyport 11.7%
    61 Jamesburg 10.5%
    62 Manville 8.7%
    63 Red Bank 13.8%
    64 Perth Amboy 20.4%
    65 Clayton 8.5%
    66 Cliffside Park 12.4%
    67 Ocean City 10.0%
    68 Hackensack 14.6%
    69 South Amboy 9.0%
    70 Hight 10.5%
    71 Margate City 9.3%
    72 Bloomingdale 8.4%
    73 Beachwood 9.3%
    74 Pitman 7.0%
    75 Bogota 9.8%
    76 Rahway 6.0%
    77 Brigantine 10.8%
    78 Northfield 10.2%
    79 Ridgefield 8.8%
    80 Wallington 12.3%
    81 Mil 7.8%
    82 Wharton 5.3%
    83 Washington 8.1%
    84 Hopatcong 6.2%
    85 Woodland Park 7.3%
    86 Sayreville 7.1%
    87 Dunellen 9.7%
    88 Ridgefield Park 9.6%
    89 Palisades Park 11.2%
    90 Tinton Falls 8.1%
    91 Highland Park 11.3%
    92 North Plainfield 9.0%
    93 Fort Lee 10.6%
    94 East Rutherford 11.0%
    95 Dover 8.5%
    96 Emerson 8.0%
    97 New Milford 7.5%
    98 Bound Brook 11.1%
    99 Oceanport 7.0%
    100 Englewood 11.3%

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